How to Get Permanent Marker Off the Wall (Magic Eraser Vs. Sharpie)

You have kids at home, they’re running around like lunatics and one of them decided since you can draw on paper, obviously you can draw on a wall. With Sharpie. Here’s show to remove it.  The Sharpie that is, not the child.


Years ago when I first started this blog I got a question from one of my readers about how to get Sharpie off walls. It was a nice change of pace from the most common question I get which is what’s the REAL difference between Miracle Whip and Mayonnaise. The following is the exchange that took place:

Question Submitted:

Hi Karen!

Long story short, a Sharpie went through the wash (my clothes were perfectly fine), however when I took the cap off the Sharpie to inspect it, liquefied Sharpie flung onto my wall (I rent). Now I have three large, drippy looking marks on the wall and I have no idea how to get them off. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks in advance!

Karen Answers:

Hi Brenna –

Well I can tell you right now, I wouldn’t worry about the walls so much as the dog.  Sharpies, otherwise known as “Wrinkle Dogs”, are excellent swimmers but don’t hold up well in washing machines I wouldn’t imagine.   The fact that you have described your dog as “liquefied” alarms me but,  I’ll attempt to answer your question.

Also, why was your Sharpie wearing a cap?

~ Karen


Imagine my embarrassment when I realized that Brenna wanted to remove permanent marker from her walls, not her dog.  It was a Sharpie, not a Shar-Pei.  This was discovered once Brenna emailed me a photo of the mishap. 

I also wrote a post a few years ago about how to revive a dried our Sharpie. In that case I did not mistake a pen for a dog. 


Actual reader’s wall with permanent marker stains.

Taking all Ask Karen questions seriously, I immediately notified Brenna that the Sharpie marks on her wall look just like wiggling sperm.   In the interest of science and Brenna’s sperm looking Sharpie marks I conducted an experiment on my very own white walls to figure out how to get Sharpie off walls.  

My own white walls which I used to test how to remove permanent marker.

I did my absolute best to replicate Brenna’s sperm marks.  And after just 30 seconds working with the two magic ingredients, my wall looked like this …

I can guarantee that the above photo isn’t altered or Photoshopped in any way. I didn’t even know how to use Photoshop 10 years ago when this question originally came in.  I do know how to use it now but prefer to limit my Photoshopping powers to keeping my roots touched up on Instagram photos.

So how did I do it? Well, I didn’t use nail polish remover and a cotton ball like some other sites recommend. I *did* use something else you’re likely to have on hand though.

A (clean) Magic Eraser and Windex.

And the Windex isn’t even mandatory.  Just using a Magic Eraser and water on your wall will remove permanent marker without removing the paint.

Yes – a Magic Eraser is all you need to get Sharpie off your walls.

How Do You Remove Sharpie From the Wall.

How to Get Permanent Marker Off the Wall

How to Get Permanent Marker Off the Wall

Active Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 2 minutes
Estimated Cost: $2

How to safely remove Sharpie from walls without damaging the paint.


  • Magic Eraser
  • Windex or Water


  1. Spray the affected wall with glass cleaner or water.
  2. Using as gentle pressure as possible scrub the area with a Magic Eraser. Continue scrubbing and wiping with a clean cloth until the Sharpie marks are gone.


The newer the marks, the more easily the marker can be removed so do it as soon as you notice it.

And here … is video proof. 

Notice that I kept flipping the Magic Eraser around so I was always working with a clean part of the sponge.  Also, right after I finished cleaning the wall with the Magic Eraser, I rubbed over it with a damp sponge to clean up any residue.  And that’s it. That’s how to get Sharpie off the wall. I am completely confident it’ll work for you.

And in case you’re wondering NO, I was not paid in any way by Magic Eraser to do this post. Although I wouldn’t pass it up if they offered. Oh God. I shouldn’t have used the word sperm so much.  Magic Eraser people would never want to sponsor someone who says sperm all the time.  

I should have used the word “love wiggles”.

To anyone who came here looking for information on how to get actual love wiggles off of their wall, I’m sorry for the misunderstanding. And your misfortune.